D4E is installed as a secure Excel add-in environment (hosted in MS Office with Ribbon functions), where users can centrally execute previously compiled end-user computing (EUC) tools as an integrated computing system. All compiled executables/objects created under D4E are managed once only under a single enterprise control. The problem with other UDA/EUC tools (like MS Access and Excel VBA files) is that each supporting tool that needs to treated as a system (for SOX/ICOFR compliance) must be separately upgraded to enterprise control. This means managing individual files (.xlsx, .mdb) for change control, security, backup/recovery, etc. This can be onerous when companies have hundreds of end-user computing tools. (In business areas, this is known as "Excel Hell".) D4E creates D4E apps (that function as EUC tools) through the Integrated Development Editor by compiling SQL code and report formatting properties then storing compactly in an apps store. This allows for numerous end-user applications to be located and managed as one computing system for SOX/ICOFR compliance. When required, the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) will need to attest to only one system/one object rather than hundreds of local end-user computing tools each year. This is possible because each D4E app replaces all database access of all EUC/UDA tools; replaces all data manipulation functions; and uses Excel only for other non-update functions (e.g., visualization). Hundreds of old UDA/EUC tools can be converted to a single integrated system and managed using multi-level menus within the Excel Ribbon. The difference between old UDA/EUC tools and D4E apps is the compact encapsulation of data access commands, transformations, and report formats as data is extracted from the same corporate source of truth. To implement configurations, parameters, prompts, and generalizations- an app's SQL code or property can be embedded with replacement text variables as placeholders that are evaluated recursively at run time. Because of the convenient way the placeholder variables provide filters, prompts and unlimited SQL cascading - D4E becomes a powerful self-service data discovery tool for the enterprise. As a reporting tool with excellent Office integration, it provides unique advantages over other web-based reporting tools.
By using industry standard ODBC, D4E users and report developers can access complete databases and warehouses without going outside Excel. Users who will benefit greatly from D4E can be accountants, business analysts, data analysts, testers, business users, sales managers, database administrators, report writers and general knowledge workers.
By inter-operating with Excel, there are no web logons, no "export to Excel", no intermediate steps. By delivering results directly to Excel, high-fidelity customized reports can be generated every month for top management from Oracle eBusiness Suite, SAP Netweaver BW or other General Ledgers.
D4E is a specialist form of Business Intelligence as it does not actually require (but can work with) the traditional BI components of Extract-Transform-Load (ETL) and Data Warehouse schemas, given the existence of ERP's and application databases. Instead, it assumes that the ERP or application database is the primary real-time source of truth and simply provides a data mart facility to directly access the ERP. For Finance and Accounting, this specialist form is also known as Accounting Intelligence. Below are some user types that can benefit from Data Mart for Excel services.
Many enterprises today discourage Office VBA because of security and maintenance concerns. Fortunately, D4E provides a way to convert your current and future user-developed applications (including Excel VBA, MS Access, SQL) into a security-hardened change-controlled apps repository with each app able to integrate with MS Office ribbons and menus. As an enterprise-class data discovery tool, it can be used by anyone in the organization who may have a need for an easy-to-use reporting tool and self-service Business Intelligence. The D4E enterprise reporting tool can access enterprise data while inter-operating with MS Office menus only and without programming assistance.
A D4E app is not a UDA written in MS Excel or MS Access. Apps are created using the D4E editor by compiling SQL instructions and other inputs; then stored centrally within the secure enterprise environment (apps store). End-users then access the D4E apps store via the D4E connector to produce reports, run dashboards, operate MIS reporting processes, and submit background/ batch processes. All outputs are instantly delivered in MS Office through excellent Office integration.
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